Home | People |

Janet S. Shibamoto-Smith


  • PhD. Anthropology, UC Davis, 1980
  • M.A. Linguistics and Anthropology, UC Davis
  • B.A. Japanese, Stanford University

Research Focus

My research includes three areas: 1) language and gender, 2) linguistic ideology and speaking practice, particularly as they relate to emotional expressivity and narratives of self, and 3) Japanese writing practices.

Gender, as an aspect of social identity, is performed and, in this sense, is role-relationally inhabited by participants in interaction. Like all such categories, it is locked into the dialectic of orders of indexicality and is also frequently tropically performed. My work shows the indexically layered ways in which, and degrees to which, women and men inhabit particular interactional stances as they are encoded in particular linguistic forms in Japanese and how these are related to everyday gender-display by such linkages.

Dominant models of Japanese linguistic practice stress uniformity, harmony, and consensus. They also stress the gendered nature of Japanese linguistic practices. Real Japanese people who are not -- by virtue of their regional, gender, or other identities -- identifiable as “average” speakers and real speaking choices which are not accounted for by the specified language usages of the normative speaker in normative situations are, thus, effectively erased from the record. My most current work illustrates ways in which language-gender ideology as a cultural model is utilized in literature and mass media, particularly in popular romance narratives.

Selected Publications

Okamoto, Shigeko and Janet S. Shibamoto-Smith. (2016) The Social Life of the Japanese Language: Cultural Discourses and Situated Practice. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.

Cui, Xiao-Ling and Janet S Shibamoto-Smith. (2014) A corpus~based study on Chinese sentiment parameters of Chinese sentiment discourse. Chinese Language and Discourse 5(2): 185-210.

Shibamoto-Smith, Janet S. and Vineeta Chand. (2013) Linguistic anthropology. In Robert Bayley, Richard Cameron, and Ceil Lucas (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics: 70-96. New York/London: Oxford University Press.

Shibamoto-Smith, Janet S. (2011) Honorifics, "politeness," and power in Japanese political debate. Journal of Pragmatics 43(15: 3707-3719.

Shibamoto-Smith, Janet S. (2011) When Manners Are Not Enough: The Newspaper Advice Column and the "Etiquette" of Cultural Ideology in Contemporary Japan. In Jan Bardsley and Laura Miller (eds), Manners and Mischief: Gender, Power, and Etiquette in Japan: 178-195. Berkeley CA:  University of California Press.

Occhi, Debra J., Cindi L. SturtzSreetharan, and Janet S. Shibamoto-Smith. (2010). Finding Mr. Right: New Looks at Gendered Modernity in Japanese Televised Romances. Japanese Studies, Special Issue on Language in Public Spaces in Japan (Nanette Gottlieb, ed.), 30(3): 409 — 425.

シバモト・スミス ジャネット (Shibamoto-Smith, Janet S.) (2010). いま、ことばとジェンダー研究の意義.In 遠藤織枝、小林美恵子、桜井隆(編),世界をつなぐことば:ことばとジェンダー/日本語教育/中国女文字:1−30.東京:三元者.

Shibamoto Smith, Janet S. and Debra J. Occhi. (2009) The Green Leaves of Love: Japanese Romantic Heroines, Authentic Femininity, and Dialect. Journal of Sociolinguistics 13(4): 524-546.

Shibamoto Smith, Janet S. (2008)  Changing Lovestyles:  Fictional Representations of Contemporary Japanese Men in Love.  Positions:  East Asia Cultures Critique 16(2):359-387.

Okamoto, Shigeko and Janet S. Shibamoto Smith.  (2008) Constructing Linguistic Femininity in Contemporary Japan:  Scholarly and Popular Representations.  Gender and Language 2(1):87-112.

Shibamoto Smith, Janet S.  (2005) Translating True Love: Japanese Romance Fiction, Harlequin-Style. In Santaemilia, José (ed), Gender, Sex and Translation: The Manipulation of Identities: 97-116. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing.

Okamoto, Shigeko and Janet S. Shibamoto Smith (eds). (2004) Japanese Language, Gender, and Ideology: Cultural Models and Real People. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.